Serious Dilemna

For the most part I could really give a shit what my employees do on their time off. What they do at home is their business, not mine. That is pretty much my attitude about everybody, not just my employees. I do have a situation at work that is bothering me, and I am really unsure how I want to proceed.

I have recently hired a 16 year girl. She has been working as my hostess on the weekends, and now that school is out I had planned to start training her to wait tables and let her do that a couple of days a week. She is a sweet girl, lives with her grandparents, makes good grades, and is extremely shy. She also seems to have a fucked up sense of self-esteem, but that is her business as long as it doesn’t interfere with mine.

I also have a group of employees that live together. Most of them rent rooms from one of the others, and they all hang out in their spare time. There is also a fair share of drinking and drugging going on there. As I said before, I could really give a shit, as long as they show up and competently perform their jobs.

The dilemna is that this girl has started hanging out with these folks (three guys and two girls) and is in the beginning stages of dating one of them, who happens to be 23 or 24. Can you say “statutory rape” a couple of times? I really hate the fact that this girl is hanging out over there, and certainly don’t want my store to be considered as contributing to this sort of thing. I damn sure wouldn’t let my 17 year old son hang with the stupid fuckers. I have been considering for several days calling the girl’s grandmother to let her know exactly what is going on.

The only reason I hesitate is that I am afraid that the grandmother will tell her what I say, and WHO said it, and that it will get back to the employees (about 20% of my current staff). I like the fact that I don’t have to work doubles and third shifts, unlike a lot of managers. I strive to take care of my employees and keep them somewhat happy, because my lifestyle (being able to go home) is important to me.

Another option would be for me to tell the girl that I just don’t need her help anymore and shitcan her. That would at least remove her from being around these people (maybe).

Anyone have any suggestions?

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  • That IS one hell of a decision to make. I really don’t think by firing her though, that it will keep her away from those people. Maybe if, when you spoke to the grandparents, you told them YOUR situation, that you were hesitant to call because of the negative situation that might happen at your workplace and ask them to just investigate more about where she is/who she is with, without mentioning anyone told them anything, they might understand. It’s a gamble… but on the other hand, even if the grandparents do rat you out, those bums probably need money anyway and won’t quit on you. If they do, how hard is it to replace them?
    (I think this is the longest comment I’ve ever left anywhere – ha ha ha)

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  • Have you considered talking to the girl directly? Just be up front. Tell her that she’s working and making a living. You’re gonna talk to her adult-to-adult since she seems to be making adult decisions. Lay it out there for her. All your concerns. That way you’re not sneaking behind her back to her guardians nor are you firing her for an offense that isn’t really a reasonable cause. Oh, and to be on a 100% safe footing, you might want to have a neutral female in the office with you when you do this. So there are no “concerns” about inpropriety, if ya know what I mean. Let us know what you decide to do. It’s an interesting dilemma.

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  • LL took the words right out of my mouth. And I would be sure to have the third party in the room when she is spoken to. I would leave the grandparents out of it also. Deal with her like an adult and she will respond the same. You could also clear the situation with a drug test. I wouldn’t want dope-heads working any where around me or for me. Later.

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  • I’m off for the next two days so won’t be doing anything until then. I think that she doesn’t work until next weekend anyhow. Don’t have access to my schedule so I really don’t remember.

    John, the talk with her that you all suggest is a pretty decent idea and probably will be where I go, but the drug testing suggestion is a bit over the top. I’m not sure where you work, but the fact is that a very large percentage of adults, PARTICULARLY in their economic bracket, do drugs, at least a bit of weed now and then. I would be very suprised if you don’t already work around a few. About the only time we would even consider drug testing anyone would be in the case of widespread ongoing theft in a store.

    I am tested at least once a year, sometimes more, as are all of our management team, but it is not financially feasible to do on a large scale with all of our hourly employees. In the case of these two ladies, it wouldn’t matter anyway, since they are pill heads, because prescription drugs are not normally considered when terminating people. Out of 30-35 employees, I have 12 that I am pretty sure would pass a drug test and a couple of those are questionable.

    The question of drugs to me is pretty much a moot point anyway because if you can competently perform your job with a great attitude, it’s none of my business what you do at home. The widespread acceptance of illegal drugs is one of the reasons that the “drug war” has been doomed to failure since it’s inception. Most of the american population (me included) believe that what’s done at home should stay at home.

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  • I’m with LL. Talk directly to the 16-year-old. If she’s anything like I was at that age, she won’t really care about your advice, and she’ll have to learn the hard way. But, when she DOES learn the lesson, she’ll know you were right and were only trying to help her. If you go to the grandparents she may get mad and try to find another job.

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  • BUT, if she is friends with these people, she may betray the talk with “The boss” to the friends and he could end up with the same scenario that he was worried about…just a thought…

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  • Just schedule her on opposite shifts of the others’…she won’t be any fun to hang with if she’s working when they’re all “off work”..the older dude that thinks he wants to date her will eventually get drunk at a party, screw some other chick and dump the 16 yr old…..

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  • Varied Stuff

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  • Not back yet…

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